Fleet News

DETR leads the way in introducing green initiatives

THE vast majority of Government departments are lagging well behind the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions in introducing green transport plans. While many are still preparing plans for next month's deadline, the DETR has already begun implementing schemes.

It is slashing staff mileage allowances, cutting the number of car parking spaces at its offices, giving staff loans for the purchase of bicycles, and has begun a study of working practices to look at the possibility of home working. Where car use is unavoidable, the department is investigating alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

The Department of Social Security has also grasped the green nettle and claims it will exceed the requirements of the green transport plan. By the end of next month it will have procedures in place for 34 offices around the country, including its head office, main buildings and other locations. The DSS will also have about 60 liquefied petroleum gas-fuelled cars by April and 200 by the end of the year for essential car transport.

The Welsh Office is giving staff interest-free loans to buy bicycles and public transport season tickets, with repayments deducted each month from employees' salaries. The Department of Health says it is fortunate with its central London location because the majority of its staff already use public transport to get to work. The Ministry of Defence says it is still working on its green transport plan

The Department for International Development revealed: 'Everything is being drafted as we speak.' The Inland Revenue is setting up a car-sharing database for staff and its employees will also be able to get the salary advances for cycle purchases. The department says it has already seen an increase in rail travel and is introducing LPG vehicles to its pool fleet for when car journeys are necessary.

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